New product helps C-section recovery

March 18, 2009 5:39:38 PM PDT
Recovering from a C-section isn't always easy. Some Triangle doctors have found out about a new product that is being used on patients and it is making a big difference.

Six weeks ago, Anne Avra had her third baby and a C-section, but this time was different.

"I just couldn't believe how short of a time it [recover] was," Avra said.

She said the difference was noticeable almost immediately after the surgery. "In the hospital when they took off my bandage, it looked like it had already healed."

Dr. Amy Groff performed all three of Avra's C-sections, but this time she used a surgical hemostat called vitagel.

"Vitagel is a product that is used in hemostasis, so helping to stop with any bleeding and helping with wound healing," Dr. Groff explained.

After a patient's blood is drawn, it is spun to extract the plasma. The plasma is then put into a syringe and set aside with a mixture of collagen and thrombin mixture called vitagel.

When a doctor is closing up a patient after surgery, the mixture is put on the tissue. It stays in the patient's system for 30 days, promoting healing.

"There's a couple reasons why it can help if you use the vitagel," Groff said. "You're having to use less of what's called bovielectrol cautery so there's less charring of the tissues and that can help with the healing."

And while many obstetric practices like Dr. Groff's in Raleigh are just starting to use vitagel for C-sections, it can be used in many soft issue surgeries.

"It's relatively new for ob/gyns to be using," Groff said. "It's been studied in other surgical areas but not as much in ob/gyn."

Surgical hemostats are nothing new to medicine, but it is new to Groff's practice. So far, all the doctors in her office, who are using it, have positive feedback.

"I'm finding patients are saying they feel their recoveries are going smoother, faster, less pain medicine needed," Groff said. "I have not used it enough to be able to say I can absolutely attribute it to the vitagel, but it's just an interesting connection I'm making."

Groff says vitagel is worthy of more studies to see if it is making a difference.

But to Avra, there is no question it made a difference in re recovery.


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